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MKTG Principal: Classic Cars Can Sell Anything - How finance & luxury industry use classic symbo

Classic Cars Can Sell Anything - How finance & luxury industry use classic symbolism in marketing.

Banking and Investment services have always had a tough time when it comes to marketing. For as much as we all want to have piles of money, the idea of investing it for retirement and succession planning is, well, boring as hell. One way around it is using classic cars as a symbol of what you’ll be able to achieve.

Banks know this, and over the years they’ve tried out various techniques to get consumers’ attention. Some work and some don’t, but the use of a classic car is an enduring classic: Nothing says prosperous retirement like a classic car in the garage. If you add the “Father & Son” element, it usually makes a great impact.

The classic car is a symbol of whether you’ve made it in your life, that long-term goal.

Recently, I helped OCBC Wing Hang Bank sourced an Aston Martin DB5 for their bank’s "Father & Son" branding advertisement (See attached Video) These ads reach straight for a desire that seems to beat in the hearts of many family men: the lifelong dream of owning a classic car—and the success that owning one so immediately and wordlessly conveys. It’s no surprise that banks are using vintage cars to turn the heads of men thinking about their retirement portfolios.

Let’s look at this classic Father and Son Ad with, of course, a classic car

#1 The presence of his kid is pivotal in softening the sell. The classic cars represent the wealth this man is leaving to his son.

#2 The real point of this ad isn’t to show the classic cars in this man’s garage but sell what those cars represent. The bank is setting up a trajectory for you to live up to, an outstanding life and a legacy for your kids.

#3 While the ad doesn’t tell you that this is an Austin Healey worth $500,000 HKD or so, it doesn’t really need to. The car looks expensive, and that’s enough to make the point.

Below are other great examples using symbolism in marketing.

Classic cars + nest egg

Pareto Principal is a Hong Kong-based Strategic Marketing Agency that focus on results. Our mission is to help company owners and senior executives focus and optimize marketing efforts by using the 80-20 Pareto Principle.
We are serial entrepreneurs, business consultants, brand strategists, graphic designers, marketers, publicists, content writers from different industry backgrounds. We back up every strategy with hardcore data for solutions that make a measurable difference.
For more information, please go to or email us at
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